4 Financial Best Practices for Year-End 2023
Created: November 15, 2023
Description: Share this piece with clients and prospects to offer four financial best practices for year-end 2023. This year's tips cover managing cash reserves, maintaining one's investment portfolio, tax strategies, and time management.
Unsung Money Mentors: Personal Financial Columnist Sylvia Porter
Created: May 30, 2023
Description: In a recent piece, "Who Is 'the Media'?" we offered our broad take on “the media,” and how to identify islands of investment insights across the oceans of daily news. In this follow-up, we focus on America’s first personal financial columnist Sylvia Porter (1913–1991), and the impact she made on the global financial press. This piece is also part of our continuing series on Unsung Money Mentors.
Is Social Security Going Bust?
Created: March 26, 2023
Description: An analysis of what is projected for Social Security, some of the fixes Congress is exploring to replenish its reserves, and why taking Social Security early just to avoid potential cuts in benefit, is only shifting financial risks rather than eliminating them.
4 Ways to Apply the 80/20 Rule to Your Financial Pursuits
Created: February 5, 2023
Description: The "80/20 rule" suggests 80% of an outcome is often the result of just 20% of the effort you put into it. In that spirit, this piece offers 4 financial best practices where the 80/20 rule applies. These include staying invested across varied markets, emphasizing asset allocation over stock-picking, having a basic financial plan to guide the way, and freezing your credit report to minimize financial fraud.
What’s in the SECURE 2.0 Act?
Created: January 3, 2023
Description: A five-page overview of key provisions in the newly enacted SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022, including updates that impact: (1) savers/investors, (2) employers/plan sponsors, (3) current spending (such as emergency expenses), (4) Roth accounts, (5) RMD requirements, and (6) charitable giving.
When Should You Take Your Social Security?
Created: December 9, 2022
Description: This 3-page piece summarizes some of the most common factors that may influence whether to start taking Social Security sooner or later, and emphasizes planning based on manageable factors, rather than hopes or fears that are beyond our control.
Six Financial Best Practices for Year-End 2022
Created: November 11, 2022
Categories: Advisor Role/Value, Article, Economics, Estate Planning, Family Wealth, Financial Planning, Fixed Income, General Audience, Listicle, Philanthropy/Giving, Retirement Planning, Risk Management, Tax Planning, Wealth Management
Description: Share this piece with clients and prospects to offer six financial best practices for year-end 2022. This year's tips cover cash flow management, tax planning, healthcare coverage, and general financial planning in the context of 2022 events, including higher interest rates, inflation, and market volatility.
Back to the Investment Basics: White Paper
Created: October 14, 2022
Description: This nine-page white paper combines our recently published, multipart Investment Basics series into a complete piece covering five investment essentials: how important it is to save (so you have money to invest); how to invest efficiently in broad markets; why to avoid chasing or fleeing rising or falling prices, being patient, and investing according to your personal financial goals.
Back to the Investment Basics: Part 5 — Patience and Personal Persistence
Created: October 12, 2022
Description: This part 5 is the last installment in our multipart Investment Basics series, and covers two more essentials: being patient and ensuring personal financial goals drive the decision-making. Earlier parts explored the history of investing; how important it is to save (so you have money to invest); how to invest efficiently in broad markets; and why to avoid chasing or fleeing rising or falling prices.
Six Ways a Recession Resembles a Bad Mood
Created: June 14, 2022
Description: This piece helps your clients and prospective clients put current market and recessionary concerns in perspective by describing six ways a recession resembles a bad mood. For example, they're both difficult to define, best seen in retrospect, and part of life. Besides describing what recessions are and how they work, a main message is that investors can't control the world around them, but they can control how they react to it. And you, as their advisor can assist with that.
Healing What Hurts: The Essential Role of a Financial Therapist
Created: February 16, 2022
Description: This 3-page report describes the value a financial therapist can add to someone’s wealth management team when their own or a family member’s mental health may be interfering with their financial well-being. Points include when and how financial therapy can help, and how to identify an appropriate fit (including how your firm can assist in the selection).
Tax Planning in Turbulent Times
Created: November 7, 2021
Description: This report combines our earlier 3-part tax planning series into a single, 6-page piece. It pairs well with, and is optionally referenced in the separate piece, "Six Financial Best Practices for Year-End 2021."
Tax Planning Part 1: Tools of the Trade
Created: July 27, 2021
Description: Part 1 of a 3-part series on tax-planning. Part 1 defines "the tools of the tax-planning trade," i.e., tax breaks for saving toward life goals such as retirement, healthcare, education, emergency spending, charitable giving, and wealth transfer. Part 2 explores reducing families' lifetime tax bills through tax-wise investment techniques. Part 3 will explore integrating all of the above into broad financial planning techniques.
Protecting What’s Yours (After You Pass) Part 2
Created: May 17, 2021
Description: Share this two-part piece on estate planning basics with clients and prospects. Part 1 is 464 words, and reminds readers how important it is to have a basic will or trust. This part 2, at 1,413 words, offers step-by-step guidance on creating and maintaining an effective estate plan. Both pieces pair well with a 2019 Library piece, "Protecting What's Yours (While You're Alive)."
Protecting What’s Yours (After You Pass) Part 1
Created: April 29, 2021
Description: Share this two-part piece on estate planning basics with clients and prospects. Part 1 is 464 words, and reminds readers how important it is to have a basic will or trust. Part 2 (coming soon) will offer step-by-step guidance on creating and maintaining an effective estate plan. Both pieces pair well with a 2019 Library piece, "Protecting What's Yours (While You're Alive)."
Quarterly Client Letter – 2020 Q4
Created: January 4, 2021
Description: This 487-word Q4 2020 quarterly client letter reviews the wild ride 2020 delivered and why it’s important to stay the course through both bear and bull markets. It lists the ways you’ll be helping them do that, in the context of current financial and political news.
Six Financial Best Practices for Year-End 2020
Created: November 29, 2020
Description: Share this 818-word piece with clients and prospects to offer six financial best practices for year-end 2020. This year's selection is based on some of the changes that took place in 2020, including charitable giving tax breaks, general tax-planning opportunities, altered lifestyle planning considerations, and more.
Finding Your Fiduciary Financial Advisor (UPDATED)
Created: August 18, 2020
Description: UPDATED FROM FEB. 2015: This six-page, three-part special report helps investors choose a fiduciary advisor, UPDATED for recent changes under Reg BI. Part 1 describes the broad financial environment and the importance of the fiduciary relationship. Part 2 covers additional qualities to seek, and Part 3 offers tips on how to review an advisor's credentials. Pairs well with the separate, July 2020 Library piece, “What Is Fiduciary Investment Advice?”
Eight “Best/Worst” Wealth Strategies During the Coronavirus   Free Sample (Click on title to download)
Created: June 28, 2020
Description: Share this 833-word document with clients and prospects to cover eight of the most and least effective ways for they can spend their time and energy shoring up their financial well-being in the time of the coronavirus.
How To Be Positively Skeptical | Part 2: Understanding Your Emotions
Created: April 29, 2020
Description: Use this second, 844-word installment of a 4-part series to help clients and prospects strengthen their ability to differentiate solid evidence from bogus claims, especially during the coronavirus crisis. Part 1 described why the ability to be "positively skeptical" is important. This part 2 covers how to recognize when emotions are interfering with reason (and what to do about it). Parts 3 & 4 will help readers hone in on their fact-checking skills.
A CARES Act Overview (Updated 4/3/20)
Created: April 1, 2020
Description: Share this 1,450-word CARES Act Overview with clients or (slightly modified) with prospects to provide an approachable but relatively substantive summary of critical content within the Act. The overview is organized by audience, such as items applicable to employees, to employers, to businesses, to students, etc. It includes a list of resources referenced, for additional insights. (UPDATED 4/3/20 to reflect SBA clarifications.)
Quarterly Client Letter — 2019 Q4
Created: January 2, 2020
Description: Use this 540-word quarterly client letter to reflect on one- and 10-year retrospectives in the new year, including how and why to separate short-term reactions from long-term strategy.
You, Your Retirement, and the SECURE Act – GENERAL Audience
Created: December 24, 2019
Description: Use this 1,300-word document to provide a GENERAL AUDIENCE with an overview of what to expect from the newly enacted U.S. SECURE Act -- emphasizing how you might assist them in applying the changes according to their best interests. Refer to separate piece tailored for CLIENT use.
You, Your Retirement, and the SECURE Act – CLIENT Audience
Created: December 24, 2019
Description: Use this 1,300-word document to provide CLIENTS with an overview of what to expect from the newly enacted U.S. SECURE Act -- emphasizing how you will be assisting them in applying the changes according to their best interests. Refer to separate piece revised for GENERAL AUDIENCE use.
16 Things You Can Do To Prepare for the Next Recession
Created: October 18, 2019
Description: 16 things investors can do to truly strengthen their financial well-being, instead of engaging in market-timing in reaction to a potential recession. Share this 783-word overview with clients and prospects.
FAFSA Application Advice for College-Bound Kids
Created: September 6, 2019
Description: This 482-word message alerts parents and their college-bound children that there's no time to waste when submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application as soon as October 1 arrives. It describes how FAFSA works, and why time is of the essence.
What Is Monte Carlo Analysis?
Created: August 23, 2019
Description: This 1,000-word article in our "What Is ...?" series describes how investors can benefit from a Monte Carlo Analysis, includes caveats on best use, and provides a basic illustration on how it works. An accompanying Monte Carlo Sample pdf file provides the assumptions used in the illustration.
Protecting What’s Yours (While You’re Alive)
Created: July 25, 2019
Description: Use this 1,300-word article in its entirety or broken into three parts to cover three tools an individual can employ to protect their health and wealth care interests while they are alive: (1) the financial power of attorney, (2) the trusted contact, and (3) the healthcare advance directive (including a living will and healthcare power of attorney). Includes a summary, when each applies, common scenarios and additional tips for each.
Good Advice (UPDATED)
Created: May 27, 2019
Description: UPDATED FROM 2016: This 605-word piece reminds your clients and informs prospective clients that the best-interest advice you offer goes well beyond stock-picking tips. It reinforces why a good financial adviser remains relevant even as low-cost funds, automated investing and simplified financial planning are on the rise.
What Is Liquidity?
Created: May 14, 2019
Description: This 768-word article is part of our ongoing "What Is ...?" series. It defines liquidity, offers some approachable examples of how it works, and considers it within the context of an overall investment portfolio. Share this piece with clients or prospects as an article, post, or video script, or for similar purposes.
Money Management Lingo
Created: March 27, 2019
Description: This 860-word document provides a beginner's guide intro to some of the most common terminology advisors tend to use when introducing prospective and new clients to money management services. For example, it differentiates assets, funds, accounts and custodians -- explaining which roles each play. (Note: Non-U.S. advisors might want to swap out some of the examples with illustrations of their own -- such as referencing your country's tax-advantaged accounts rather than U.S.-based IRAs.)
Six Financial Best Practices for 2019
Created: December 17, 2018
Categories: Advisor Role/Value, Article, Client Experience, Estate Planning, Financial Best Practice Lists, Financial Planning, Listicle, Prospect-Focused, Scary Market Insights, Security, Wealth Management
Description: Six financial best practices encouraging investors to ignore market volatility and take practical steps toward enhancing their financial well-being. Use this piece as is to share with prospective clients, or modify it slightly for client use. This piece represents the second in an annual series, potentially pairing well with "Ten Financial Best Practices to Jump-Start Your New Year," published in December 2017.
Ten Financial Best Practices to Jump-Start Your New Year
Created: December 18, 2017
Description: Use this 1,050-word list of ten financial best practices for prospecting and public education about basic retirement planning, risk management, estate planning, budgeting, debt management, investing and more. A call to action at the end invites readers to be in touch with you for an exploratory conversation. Tailored for U.S. readers, this piece can be readily revised to apply elsewhere.